Bank of Agriculture indicted for N3.2bn tractor loan; Senate demands recovery

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The Nigerian Senate has indicted the Bank of Agriculture in Kaduna over a N3.2bn loan disbursed to 10 vendors to purchase tractors and other equipment for allocation to end users.

This came after an investigation by the Senate Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Uhroghide, into the Auditor General of the Federation’s 2016 report.

The committee indicted the management of the bank for being unable to account for N3.2bn disbursed to 10 vendors out of the N3.6bn provided in 2015 by the Federal Government through the bank.

The Senate adopted the report and demanded the recovery of the N3.2bn loan from the 10 unnamed vendors.

The loan was part of a revolving fund arrangement to boost the national agricultural mechanisation agenda. The beneficiaries were expected to make repayments through service provider operators, but the bank failed to monitor and supervise the disbursement as well as ensure the recovery of the funds for further lending to new participants.

In response to the allegations, the Bank of Agriculture explained that the program was structured with a four-year loan tenor commencing from the date of release of the machinery/equipment to the Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises Centre.

The bank’s management was directed to account for all the amounts involved. However, the bank’s response was not accepted by the Senate committee.